A 21-year-old Malaysian man has been arrested on suspicion of planning to attack non-Muslims and their places of worship, having reportedly been ordered to do so from Islamic State militants in Syria.
The man, who was not named, “received instructions from a Malaysian Da’esh [IS] member in Syria to buy a pistol, a M-16 rifle, an AK-47 rifle and hand grenades from a neighbouring country, with the aim of launching attacks on non-Muslims and their places of worship”, according to a police spokesman, as reported by Channel News Asia.
The man had reportedly attempted three times to make a bomb, having received instructions from a Saudi bomb expert and Malaysian fugitive Mahmud Ahmad – who is part of the IS-linked Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines.
Meanwhile, two other Malaysian men were arrested in separate raids – a 41-year-old bus driver who reportedly planned to join IS in Syria by the end of 2017, and a 38-year-old who reportedly planned to join IS in the southern Philippines, where IS-inspired militants continue to besiege the city of Marawi, and a militant group in Rahkine state in Myanmar. The 38-year-old “actively printed and distributed [IS] flags to promote the group’s struggles”, according to police.
The three arrests took place in separate raids in the western states of Perak, Selangor and Malacca.